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Join Sameer Desai as he chats with South Asians around the world to uncover their identities, successes, failures, and most importantly, stories. He profiles artists, writers, filmmakers, athletes, entertainers, and many more to discover South Asians who have taken a different path. Visit www.southasianstoriespodcast.com for full list of episodes and show notes!
 
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Hi everyone! Today we have an episode from my good friend Suraj from Brown People We Know podcast. Similar to South Asian Stories Podcast, Brown People we Know iis interview podcast about the non-traditional paths and shared experiences of the South Asian American diaspora. In this episode, Suraj chats with Vikas Arun. Vikas is a professional tap d…
 
Sunnie Delilah is a British fashion designer and founder of Delilah’s Dressing Room. She focuses on creating functional designs and bespoke accessories for Men, Women, and Children. Last year, Sunnie invented a long beard mask to protect men with long beards and those who wore religious headwear such as turbans during the COVID 19 pandemic.. Her de…
 
Azeem Azhar is an award-winning technology author, entrepreneur, and investor. He produces Exponential View the leading newsletter and podcast on the impact of technology on our future economy and society with close to 50,000 subscribers including investors, academics, and journalists around the world. Azeem brings a unique background to explain th…
 
Romen Borsellino is a staff writer on NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh and was executive producer, and co-creator of Freeform’s 2020 election series Kal Penn Approves This Message. He has also written for Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s This Giant Beast That Is The Global Economy on Amazon Prime and worked on Michael Schur’s 2019 primetime NBC co…
 
Karan Soni is an Indian-born American actor who is best known for playing Dopinder in the Deadpool films. He was born and raised in New Delhi, India and he grew up studying theater and continued his education at the University of Southern California. While in school Karan began auditioning for film and TV roles, eventually landing a lead role in Sa…
 
Dr. Sana Shaikh is currently the Director of School Operations for Springfield Public Schools. She is also the founder of her diversity, equity, and inclusion company called TimeED (Taking Initiative, Making Equity in Education). She holds two Bachelors from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science and Near Eastern Studies – Isla…
 
Rizwan Jagani is an accomplished American violist of Indian/Pakistani heritage and is an accomplished solo performer, orchestral and chamber musician, arranger, and producer. Coined The “New-fit” musician, Rizwan reimagines the idea of what the viola can do by combining his Western Classical training with other musical genres such as Bollywood, Mus…
 
Marianna Kuttothara is the Cash and Relief Lead for the American Red Cross’s International Service Department. In this role Marianna is responsible for providing technical and operational assistance to American Red Cross funded projects supporting disaster preparedness and response across the globe. Marianna has deployed to disaster response operat…
 
This is a special one – our 25th episode! Thank you for listening and being part of the journey. I could not be more thrilled to bring one of my personal heroes Dr. Vivek Murthy. Dr. Vivek Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States between 2014 and 2017. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he …
 
Neeta Sreekanth is a Sports Media Maven and has worked at some of the most iconic sports and media companies like the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, IGN, and INFLCR. Neeta got her start in the digital and social media world at the Dallas Cowboys. She then transitioned to ESPN working in their social media department as an associate producer and social media…
 
Rahul Rai is an award-winning actor currently living in Los Angeles who has built a massive following on TikTok (937k followers and over 34M likes as of July 2020). His videos are some of my favorite – some laugh out loud funny, some emotional, and some really informative (Like his other financial literacy TikTok account – TheLaymanInvestor). While…
 
Dr. Arati Kreibich is a Democratic Council Member in Glen Rock, New Jersey who is running for election to the U.S. House to represent New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District! She is a trained neuroscientist who earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with her research focused on opiate addiction. In 2016, she ran for Glen Rock’s …
 
Wardah Khalid is a policy analyst, activist, and speaker on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, refugees/immigration, and Islam in America. She currently works on Capitol Hill as an APAICS Congressional Fellow and is the Founder and President of Poligon Education Fund, a national civic education and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthen…
 
Brian Benni is one of the stars of the hit show Family Karma on Bravo and one of my favorites on the show. Family Karma (See Vogue review!) tracks the stories of seven first-generation Indian Americans and their parents in Miami. Growing up in traditional, multigenerational households, this group is bonded by their strong cultural ties and vibrant …
 
Vikram Vij is an Indian-born Celebrity Chef and Owner of three Indian restaurants Vij’s Restaurant, Rangoli Restaurant, and My Shanti. He has received numerous accolades and awards – including Vancouver Chef of the Year, Best Indian Award, and Best Restaurant. Vikram has been a guest judge on Top Chef Canada, Chopped Canada, as well as the first In…
 
Pooja Tripathi is an Indian American filmmaker, actress, and musician. She grew up in Pittsburgh & New York City, and studied Business Administration and Violin Performance at Carnegie Mellon University. Pooja began her career in the fashion industry, working in buying and digital marketing at top brands including Fendi, Bloomingdale’s, and Dior. S…
 
Aman Advani is Co-founder and CEO of Ministry of Supply, a clothing brand inventing a new category: Performance Professional OR performance dress clothes. The company was founded in 2012 with the mission to make dress clothes feel like gym clothes by incorporating fundamental engineering and performance principles into dress clothing staples, ultim…
 
“Continue to create stuff that’s valuable and that makes you happy.” – Sandeep Gill Sandeep Kaur Gill, better known as TheSandyLion, is a stylist and image consultant with the simple goal of helping people look and feel the best about themselves. With over 102k followers on Instagram, 3.21k on YouTube, and 8k on Twitter, Sandeep uses her social med…
 
“Always look for components of a good story – character, conflicts, intimacy, access.” – Gotham Chopra Gotham Chopra is a Sports Emmy award-winning director of “Tom vs Time,” Kobe Bryant’s ”Muse,” and the Sports Emmy-nominated documentary series “Shut Up & Dribble” in partnership with NBA All-Star LeBron James, Springhill Entertainment, and Showtim…
 
Photography by @savwalts. Creative Director @ruthintruth “Look inward to serve your purpose outward.” Kiran Gandhi Kiran Gandhi, who performs as her stage name Madame Gandhi, is a Los Angeles-based musician, activist and music industry thinker who was recently listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. She has drummed for M.I.A, Thievery Corporati…
 
“The Tiger at Midnight did not shy away from cultural identity. Diverse storytellers sometimes feel the need to make their story more palatable for a general audience. ” – Swati Teerdhala. Swati Teerdhala is the author of the brand new book The Tiger at Midnight published by Harper Collins. This is the first book in an epic heart-pounding fantasy t…
 
“Within my first three months as SpaceX, I was in charge of rocket engine electrical cables. My heart was pounding and I wanted to run and come home – it was a huge responsibility. ” – Melony Mahaarachchi Melony Mahaarachchi is a prolific mechanical, robotics, and rocket engineer. She came to the United States with her husband and two young childre…
 
“Cancer is an extremely smart disease. It’s one of the reasons we’ve battled it for so long.” – Dr. Hasini Jayatilaka. Dr. Hasini Jayatilaka (@hasinijt) is an acclaimed cancer researcher, scientist, and TED speaker. She grew up in Colombo, Sri Lanka and pursued her BS and PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At …
 
“Be grateful for what you have and ambitious for what you want.” – Raj Jana Raj Jana (@rajer_thatt) is an impact-driven entrepreneur, podcast host, & keynote speaker who’s passionate about using capitalism and business as a vehicle to make the world a brighter place. He has been featured in Inc, Entrepreneur, and Forbes Magazines while mentored dir…
 
“Believe what you want to achieve.” – Raj Bhavsar Raj Bhavsar (@Rajnastics) is Olympic Athlete, world-class gymnast, entrepreneur, and artist. His accolades are simply outstanding: Bronze medal in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, World championship silver medals, 3 world cup medals, 3 U.S. national titles, 3 NC Double A national titles, 11 years on the …
 
“There are moments where you can’t hide from what you want to do.” – Arsalan Shirazi Arsalan Shirazi (@entitldartist) is the quintessential multi-hyphenate artist: he’s an actor, writer, rapper, and founder of ENTITLD ARTISTS. It’s a media and entertainment company that develops film, series, and music for millennials with a focus on first-generati…
 
“Writing completely soothes me and is form of healing.” – Shabnam Samuel Shabnam Samuel (@panchganiwrites) is a writer, coach, social media trainer, and the founder of the Panchgani Writers’ Retreat. Shabnam just released a memoir A Fractured Life this year in September 2018. The retreat incorporates mindful living along with creativity and wellnes…
 
“You’re never too old to set another goal or a dream.” – Hema Kundargi Hema Kundargi is a registered dietitian, culinary artist, and TV host. Hema went from being an accountant to hosting and producing her own TV show called Indian Vegetarian Gourmet. She simplifies Indian cuisine and aims to remove the myths and mysteries associated with it. Then,…
 
“Bhangra is a dance that combines both energy and grace.” – Lavesh Pritmani Lavesh Pritmani (@LearnBhangraNow) is the founder and CEO of the Learn Bhangra. In less than three years, his app achieved over 70,000 downloads and 25,000 registered users. No small feat. Bhangra is an energetic, folk dance and music form that originated from Punjab, India…
 
“My advice would be to ignore your parents. At some point you have to decide what you want to do for yourself.” – Asha Rangappa Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) is a former FBI Special Agent in the New York Division specializing in counterintelligence investigations. Her work at the FBI involved assessing threats to national security, conducting clas…
 
Srihari Sritharan (@DrSrimix) aka Dr. Srimix is an extremely talented DJ and producer who blends South Asian music with Western influences. He is one of the most popular DJ’s in the Bollywood-Fusion Dance Circuit, and has produced thousands of tracks with millions of listeners with one of his most popular tracks being “Lean on Rangeela”. Sri has co…
 
Kovid Gupta (@kovidgupta) is an author, screenwriter, filmmaker, and social activist. At the age of 22, he moved from Texas to Mumbai to pursue his dream of breaking into Bollywood. Spoiler alert: He did it. He has worked on some of South Asia’s biggest TV brands as a content developer, creative consultant, and screenwriter. In 2017 he was named on…
 
Priya Krishna (@pkgourmet) is an accomplished food writer and author – with publications in The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, Taste, Saveur, and Bon Appetite to name a few. She’s also written two books – Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks and Indianish coming out in Spring 2019. She has some truly great stories ranging from her love of Indian food, h…
 
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